Hospitals Back Extension of Fee Aimed at Bringing in More Medi-Cal Funds
California hospitals have expressed support for legislation that would extend a hospital fee designed to draw down additional federal matching funds for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 1/14).
In 2009 and 2010, California passed legislation (AB 1383, AB 188 and AB 1653) toÂ establish the hospital fee, which applied retroactively from spring 2009 and remained in place through Dec. 31, 2010 (California Healthline, 9/13/10).
The state used the collected funds to increase Medi-Cal funding for hospitals and support children's health insurance programs (California Healthline, 10/11/10).
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) proposed an extension of the fee as part of his newly released budget plan. However, state lawmakers must pass legislation to extend the hospital fee and the federal government must approve it.
In December, Sen. President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) introduced a bill (SB 7) to extend the fee for six months. The California Hospital Association sponsored the measure.
A six-month extension of the fee is expected to generate more than $1 billion. Hospitals would receive about $874 million of those funds in extra Medi-Cal payments, while the state would receive about $160 million to fund children's health insurance programs (Sacramento Business Journal, 1/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.